nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒10‒07
thirteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. A Spatio-Temporal Model of House Prices in the US By Sean Holly; M. Hashem Pesaran; Takashi Yamagata
  2. Mapping Diversity in Milan. Historical Approaches to Urban Immigration By John Foot
  3. Sustainability and Cities as Systems of Innovation By Björn Johnson; Martin Lehmann
  5. Technical Efficiency and Contractual Incentives: the Case of Urban Public Transport in France By William Roy
  6. Social Interactions and Schooling Decisions By Rafael Lalive; Alejandra Cattaneo
  7. The Impact of Stadium Announcements on Residential Property Values: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Dallas-Fort Worth By Carolyn A. Dehring; Craig A. Depken, II; Michael R. Ward
  8. Foreigners and the City: An Historiographical Exploration for the Early Modern Period By Donatella Calabi
  9. Identifying Strategic Interactions in Swedish Local Income Tax Policies By Edmark, Karin; Ågren, Hanna
  10. Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence. By Damm, Anna Piil
  11. Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake. By Piero Cipollone; Alfonso Rosolia
  12. Open-end real estate funds: danger or diamond? By Steffen Sebastian; Marcel Tyrell
  13. On the Theory and Practice of Fiscal Decentralization By Wallace E. Oates

  1. By: Sean Holly; M. Hashem Pesaran; Takashi Yamagata
    Abstract: In this paper we model the dynamic adjustment of real house prices using data at the level of US States. We consider interactions between housing markets by examining the extent to which real house prices at the State level are driven by fundamentals such as real income, as well as by common shocks, and determine the speed of adjustment of house prices to macroeconomic and local disturbances. We take explicit account of both cross sectional dependence and heterogeneity. This allows us to find a cointegrating relationship between house prices and incomes and to identify a small role for real interest rates. Using this model we examine the role of spatial factors, in particular the effect of contiguous states by use of a weighting matrix. We are able to identify a significant spatial effect, even after controlling for State specific real incomes, and allowing for a number of unobserved common factors.
    Keywords: House Price, Cross Sectional Dependence, Spatial Dependence
    JEL: C21 C23
    Date: 2006–09
  2. By: John Foot (University College London)
    Abstract: An historical and spatial approach is crucial to the understanding of any city. Waves of immigration and population movements from different sources have constructed the cultural mix of this financial, industrial and market city over time. To focus just on the new foreign immigration into Milan over the last 25 years or so risks omitting the deep historical fissures created by previous (and bigger) waves of population movements – the traces left by these populations in the urban fabric and their role in subjective experience. Moreover, the historical and spatial comparison of various types and moments of population movement can help us to understand the changes to this city at macro and micro-levels. This paper uses a mixture of approaches in order to understand and map diversity in Milan, its province and its region. It is intended as a discussion paper to be looked at in conjunction with the work and arguments laid out in other research projects and published work. Methodologies used in this paper range from straightforward historical research (using documents and archives) to photography, micro-history (the examination of one small area – in this case one housing block) and oral historical interviews.
    Keywords: Immigration, Urban Space, Periphery (Periferia), Memory, Housing
    Date: 2006–08
  3. By: Björn Johnson; Martin Lehmann
    Abstract: Cities often constitute relevant environments for interactive learning and innovation potentially capable of tackling sustainability problems. In this paper we ask if the concept of systems of innovation can increase our understanding of city dynamics and help promoting the sustainable development of cities. Through a combination of the innovation system approach and the perspective of creative cities, we argue that a slightly modified concept – sustainable city systems of innovation – may be helpful in this context. To underline this, we discuss certain ‘city-traits’ of sustainability and conclude that the new concept may be of special use for urban quality development and management.
    Keywords: Sustainability; innovation systems; creative city; urban quality; sustainable city systems of innovation
    JEL: O31 O15
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Jose Ceron; Javier Suarez (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros)
    Abstract: This paper examines the experience of fourteen developed countries for which there are about thirty years of quarterly inflation-adjusted housing price data. Price dynamics is modelled as a combination of a country-specific component and a cyclical component is a two-state variable captures previously undocumented changes in the volatility of real housing price increases. These volatility phases are quite persistent (about six years,on average) and occur with about the same unconditional frequency over time. In line with previous studies, the mean of real housing price increases can be predicted to be larger when lagged values of those increases are large, real GDP growth is high, unemployment falls, and interest rates are low or have declined. Our findings have important implications for risk management in regard to residential property markets.
    Keywords: Housing prices, cycles, volatility, Markov switching.
    JEL: E32 G15 R31
    Date: 2006–01
  5. By: William Roy (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: This paper studies the relative performances of contractual arrangements used in the French local public transport industry. Levels of inefficiency are estimated with a production frontier approach. The results confirm the theoretical properties of incentive contracts that lead to better technical efficiency.
    Keywords: Contracts ; Contractual Incentives ; Contractual arrangements ; Efficiency ; Performance ; Urban Public Transport ; Public service governance ; France
    Date: 2006–10–04
  6. By: Rafael Lalive; Alejandra Cattaneo
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to study whether schooling choices are affected by social interactions. Such social interactions may be important because children enjoy spending time with other children or parents learn from other parents about the ability of their children. Identification is based on a randomized intervention that grants a cash subsidy encouraging school attendance among a sub-group of eligible children within small rural villages in Mexico. Results indicate that (i) the eligible children tend to attend school more frequently, (ii) but also the ineligible children acquire more schooling when the subsidy is introduced in their local village, (iii) social interactions are economically important, and (iv) they may arise due to changes in parents’ perception of their children’s ability.
    Keywords: peer effects, schooling, field experiment, PROGRESA
    JEL: C93 I21 I28
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Carolyn A. Dehring (Department of Insurance, Legal Studies and Real Estate, The University of Georgia); Craig A. Depken, II (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington); Michael R. Ward (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of a potential new sports venue on residential property values, focusing on the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys' search for a new host city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We find that residential property values in the city of Dallas increased following the announcement of a possible new stadium in the city of Dallas. At the same time, property values fell throughout the rest of Dallas County, which would have paid for the proposed stadium. These patterns reversed when the Dallas stadium proposal was abandoned. Subsequently, a series of announcements regarding a new publicly-subsidized stadium in nearby Arlington, Texas, had a deleterious effect on residential property values in Arlington. In aggregate, average property values declined approximately 1.5% relative to the surrounding area before stadium construction commenced. This decline was almost equal to the anticipated household sales tax burden, suggesting that the average expected amenity effect of hosting the Cowboys in Arlington was not significantly different from zero.
    Keywords: economic impact, event studies, sports, property values, stadiums
    JEL: L83 R53 H73
    Date: 2006–09
  8. By: Donatella Calabi (Università IUAV di Venezia)
    Abstract: This paper will focus on the physical traces left by different minorities in the European city of the early modern age. Looking to the urban context in the main important ports and commercial centers we can find violent conflicts, traditional uses, as well as new urban strategies by the governors to keep together (for economic and social purposes) city-dwellers and foreigners. The invention of specific buildings and the effect on the architectural language is often quite visible and a mean of cultural exchanges.
    Keywords: City, History of Architecture, Modern Age, Foreigners, Minorities
    Date: 2006–09
  9. By: Edmark, Karin (Department of Economics); Ågren, Hanna (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper uses data on Swedish local governments to test for strategic interaction in tax setting. We make no a priori assumptions regarding the underlying behaviour of individuals, but instead attempt to test for the presence and type of underlying spatial process. First, we employ the estimation methods used in most earlier studies, however, we stress that these methods are limited in identifying the source of interaction. Hence, we make use of a number of additional, indirect predictions from the theories of tax competition and yardstick competition, in order to test for the presence of strategic interaction. Using such additional predictions of the theories serves a twofold purpose - first it helps us establish if the spatial coefficient is due to strategic interactions or merelyre?ecting spatial error correlation, and second, it helps identify the source of interaction. The analysis provides strong evidence for spatial dependence in tax rates among Swedish local governments. Moreover, we find weak evidence of tax competition or yardstick competition e¤ects in the setting of tax rates.
    Keywords: Local income tax; Spatial auto-correlation; Tax competition; Yardstick competition
    JEL: C52 D72 H73 H77
    Date: 2006–10–05
  10. By: Damm, Anna Piil (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: This study investigates empirically how residence in ethnic enclaves affects labour market <p> outcomes of refugees. Self-selection into ethnic enclaves in terms of unobservable characteristics <p> is taken into account by exploitation of a Danish spatial dispersal policy which randomly <p> disperses new refugees across locations conditional on six individual-specific characteristics. <p> The results show that refugees with unfavourable unobserved characteristics are found to <p> self-select into ethnic enclaves. Furthermore, taking account of negative self-selection, a relative <p> standard deviation increase in ethnic group size on average increases the employment probability <p> of refugees by 4 percentage points and earnings by 21 percent. I argue that in case of <p> heterogeneous treatment effects, the estimated effects are local average treatment effects
    Keywords: Ethnic Enclaves; Employment; Earnings; LATE
    JEL: C35 J15 J64 Z13
    Date: 2006–09–27
  11. By: Piero Cipollone (Bank of Italy); Alfonso Rosolia (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We provide new evidence on the impact of peer effects on the schooling decisions of teenagers. In November 1980 a major earthquake hit Southern Italy. In the aftermath, young men from certain towns were exempted from compulsory military service. We show that the exemption raised high school graduation rates of boys by more than 2 percentage points by comparing high school graduation rates of young exempt men and older not exempt men from the least damaged areas and men of the same age groups from nearby towns that were not hit by the quake. Similar comparisons show that graduation rates of young women in the affected areas rose by about 2 percentage points. Since in Italy women are not subject to drafting, we interpret these findings as evidence of social effects of the decision of teenage boys of staying longer in school on that of teenage girls. Our estimates suggest that an increase of 1 percentage point of male graduation rates raises female probability of completing high school by about 0.7-0.8 percentage points. A series of robustness checks, including comparisons across different age groups and with different definitions of the comparison areas, suggest that the rise was due to the earthquake-related exemption, rather than other factors.
    Keywords: istruzione, interazione sociale, peer effects, servizio militare obbligatorio
    JEL: I21 C23 C90
    Date: 2006–09
  12. By: Steffen Sebastian; Marcel Tyrell
    Date: 2006–05
  13. By: Wallace E. Oates (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, 3105 Tydings Hall College Park, MD 20742)
    Date: 2006–09

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